Valve is getting up to speed and finally offering up-to-date tools to improve comfort during gaming sessions.
This Thursday, June 15, 2023 is a day of celebration for PC gamers. Steam has finally rolled out its biggest interface update. We told you about it at the beginning of May when Valve announced the beta tests of the revisited version of its client. It only took a month before these changes were applied to all users. Even though Steam has a monopoly on PC gaming, the look of the launcher and the features it offers have always lagged behind.
Far from being ergonomic or even pleasing to the eyes, the software’s menus were bland and, above all, difficult to navigate. The famous in-game overlay already offered some useful options that most players weren’t even aware of as it was complex to access. Finally, everyone used it to check the time, reply to messages or check successes. Those long years of falling short of industry standard user interface are now over. After the improvement of the Big Picture mode following the release of the Steam Deck, here are all the novelties concerning the desktop version of the client.
Beautiful like a brand new customer
Upon starting Steam, a new loading animation greets players to signify these sweeping changes. Once the software has started, it now sports new tones, more in line with the bluish graphic charter that the brand has had for a few years now. The pickiest will even notice a change in font on all the menus.
In addition to these few tweaks, it’s on the functionality side that players will find the greatest number of improvements. The different interfaces are more modern and clearer to facilitate navigation through the different options. This more visually pleasing set is also expressed by the disappearance of unnecessary nuisances, such as notifications. These are now more discreet and grouped more intelligently. Different categories then make it possible to differentiate new objects from messages or invitations to play.
However, it is the in-game overlay that gets the biggest improvements. This now gives access to a set of functionality accessible in one click via a bar that is reminiscent of that of Xbox. It is then possible to open achievements, a web browser, guides, and even a notes window for titles that require more thought. These same pieces of the overlay can then be locked to appear transparent while playing.
This is truly a new era for the gaming client that is finally catching up several years behind. Be aware that Linux and Mac users will also benefit from increased performance thanks to hardware acceleration previously only accessible via Windows.